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If you’re wondering how to get from Milan to Lake Como, you’re in the right place. You can travel between Milan and Lake Como by train, car, or bus. But which method you choose will depend on your destination and preference.
The lake is around 31 miles from Italy’s fashion capital, Milan, so the journey will take around an hour and a half. But it all depends on which one of Lake Como’s charming towns you want to explore and how you want to get there.
Because there are plenty of things to do in Lake Como, you might find it tricky to choose which parts to visit. But, focusing on one destination in Lake Como will be helpful in staying organized with ferries and travel arrangements.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to get from Milan to Lake Como and tips on taking the ferry to explore Lake Como’s stunning towns.
Getting to Como Town
Como town is a fantastic place to visit on your trip to Lake Como. It’s located on the southwest branch of Lake Como and is only a short distance from the towns of Brunate, Bellagio, Lenno, and Varenna.
Once there, you can explore Como’s charming squares and streets, visit the famous Como Cathedral, and indulge in local specialties like creamy risotto with fillets of perch, Polenta Uncia, and pizzoccheri.
So, now that you know why you should visit Como town, here’s how to get there from Milan.
Taking a Milan to Lake Como train is a convenient and easy option. Trains depart regularly from Milano Cadorna, one of Milan’s train stations, and arrive at Como Nord Lago station, which is close to the lake.
Como San Giovanni station, in the heart of Como town, is the best option if you’re departing from Milano Centrale train station. However, it is slightly farther from the lake than Como Nord Lago station.
The journey takes about one hour, and five trains depart from Milan to Como Lago a day. The train from Milan to Lake Como costs around €4 to €5 each way. So traveling by train to Como Nord Lago station or Como San Giovanni is one of the most affordable methods of transport.
Once you arrive, you can explore the charming streets of Como town, visit its historic attractions, or hop on a ferry to explore other towns around the lake.
Getting from Milan to Como town by car is another great option if you appreciate having more flexibility and freedom when you visit Lake Como. Driving to Como town from Milan will take about an hour, depending on traffic and how often you stop to admire the views.
While the flexibility is a huge bonus, you’ll likely find that driving around Lake Como isn’t easy. In this region, parking is hard to come by, and the narrow streets can be challenging to navigate for even the most seasoned tourists.
Como Town By Tour
If it’s peace of mind that you’re after, taking a tour from Milan to Como Town might be the perfect solution. There are a variety of tour operators that offer guided tours of Como town that depart from Milan.
If you want to learn about Como Town’s culture, cuisine, and history, a guided tour with a knowledgeable guide is the best way to go. Plus, you can leave the logistics to the tour organizers.
This full-day tour from Milan to Como is a fantastic option for couples and small groups. It offers train tickets departing from and arriving back in Milan, a guided walking tour of Como, and a one-hour cruise on Lake Como.
Tour Details: Como town tour from Milan
Getting to Bellagio
Bellagio is a picturesque town located where the eastern and western branches of Lake Como meet. Many tourists and locals consider Bellagio the most beautiful place to visit on the lake.
Once you’re there, you’ll find it hard to argue. Bellagio is the perfect town to enjoy the region’s culture and history, indulge in the local cuisine, have some fun doing watersports and outdoor activities, or just relax beside the lake.
Here’s everything you need to know about getting to Bellagio from Milan.
Traveling to Bellagio from Milan by car is a good choice if you want to explore the region at your own pace. Depending on traffic and where you stop along the way, the journey should take around an hour and a half from Milan to Bellagio.
You can simply take the A9 highway towards Lake Como and then continue on the SS 36 or the SS 340 to Bellagio. On the way, there’ll be plenty of scenery to admire, and you might even find a few hidden gems.
Parking is hard to find in Bellagio, and the streets can be very narrow and winding, so take note of this if you’re considering hiring a car.
By Private Transfer
If you like the thought of being on the open roads of Lombardy but don’t want the hassle of driving and finding parking, opt for a private transfer service instead. Private transfers offer a comfortable and scenic ride without the stress of navigating roads you’re unfamiliar with.
This private transfer from Milan allows you to select your pick-up and drop-off locations in Milan and Bellagio and offers a spacious and comfortable ride. This option is ideal for groups of four to five travelers and has plenty of space for luggage.
Bellagio By Tour
Guided tours of this region of northern Italy are a wonderful way to get to know the lake, especially if it’s your first time visiting Lake Como. Tours are ideal for travelers who want to learn about Lake Como’s history and culture without skimping on comfort or convenience.
This luxury bus tour to Bellagio and Como from Milan is an excellent way to see the Lombardy region. The bus tour includes a round-trip transfer from Milan to Lake Como. It also includes a walking tour through Como with a professional and knowledgeable guide.
This tour is perfect for couples, groups, and families who have time for only a day trip on their Milan itinerary but want to see some of Lake Como’s highlights.
Tour Details: Tour from Milan to Bellagio
Getting to Varenna
This quaint and charming town on Lake Como’s eastern shore is the perfect destination for your summer vacation in Northern Italy. Varenna is surrounded by the Alps and offers stunning vistas of Lake Como, the mountains, the lush green foliage, and the colorful buildings that line its shores.
Whether you visit Varenna for its vistas, history, culture, food, or atmosphere, it’ll be well worth your time on a day trip from Milan.
Here’s how to get from Milan to Varenna.
Hopping on a train to Varenna is a convenient way to visit Lake Como. Trains depart five times a day from Milano Centrale (Milan Central Station) to Varenna Esino station. This route takes just over an hour and will cost about €5 to €7 each way. It’s perfect for a Lake Como day trip from Milan.
Varenna Esino station is near the Lake’s eastern shores, so you can take a short walk or get a taxi to the town’s hotspots. One of the best ways to see Varenna is by taking a slow boat on Lake Como and admiring the colorful buildings on the shore. You can hire a boat less than 0.2 miles from the station.
If you’re an independent traveler, getting to Varenna from Milan by car is a good option. Driving will allow you to experience the scenic journey at your own pace and discover hidden gems along the way.
Hiring a car in Italy is fairly simple, and you’ll find a range of car hire services available for your road trip. There are various car hire companies stationed at Milan Malpensa Airport, making it easy to find your preferred vehicle.
Driving to Varenna will take around an hour and a half from Milan, depending on traffic. All you have to do is take the A4 highway from Milan towards Bergamo and then take the SS 36 towards Lecco and follow the signs to Varenna.
Parking can be hard to find in Varenna, and the streets are narrow, so take note of this before considering hiring a car.
Getting Around Varenna
Although Varenna is on the eastern branch of Lake Como, it’s fairly easy to access the middle-lake attractions by ferry.
From Varenna, you can take boats and ferries to the famous Lake Como villas, Villa Del Balbianello, Villa Carlotta, and Villa Melzi, or nearby towns. Some nearby destinations of note include Bellagio, Menaggio, Tremezzo, and Lenno, to name just a few.
This exclusive, full-day tour of Varenna and Bellagio is an excellent way to see Lake Como’s highlights and spend time on the dazzling blue water. On the tour, you’ll travel by boat, passing the magnificent Lake Como villas, and explore the towns of Bellagio and Varenna.
Tour Details: Varenna and Bellagio full-day tour
Final Thoughts on How to Get from Milan to Lake Como
There you have it, the best ways to get from Milan to Lake Como, plus a few essential tips on getting around Italy. Hopefully, this guide has made planning your visit to Lake Como a little easier so you can save your energy for exploring Lake Como’s charming towns and history-rich streets.